Devotion on Malachi (Part VI, vs. 14-17) (from my note of 31 October 2013 Anno Domini (Reformation Day)
14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. 15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. 16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. 17 Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment? (Mal 2:14-17)
The Church in England had sunk into a morass of apostate beliefs and superstitions ere the Morning Star of the Reformation arose on the eastern skies of God’s Heaven – the great lover of God’s Holy word: John Wycliffe! The Church had gone through the early days of persecution, the Dark Ages, and now was marred down with bureaucratic greed and spiritual darkness, but the Light breaks forth in the heart of an Englishman and scatters the darkness in its inextinguishable beams. This same darkness has settled on the Old Testament Church of Malachi’s day. God would provide no other prophet to His apostate people for some five hundred more years because, first of all, they did not hear the prophets, and, secondly, they did not heed their warnings. Has such a time overtaken the Church in our day. Are we not, once again, immersed in great error and apostasy? Have we not forgotten the words of the prophets and the apostles….indeed, of Jesus Himself? See how the sexual perversions of homosexuality and unfaithfulness have become merely alternate lifestyles in the fallen churches around the world! Malachi speaks to us today of the high regard in which God holds the estate of Holy Matrimony and how we have profaned it with vulgar notions.
The prophet Malachi has just accused the people of abandoning their first loves (women of Judea) and gone whoring after strange flesh – women who know not the true God of Israel, or perhaps even more abominable – lusting after other men! The love of their youth has been left to wither alone and without the benefit of her husband for whom she has given all that life can give. It is also true of the Church today. The Church has abandoned her First Love and gone whoring after other gods. We honor Christ with our lips, but our hearts are far from Him. The disobedient lack the slightest discernment to know their sins even when told. That is the way of the sinner. If they sin callously enough, sin will become righteousness to them
14 “Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.” Have you ever prayed such nonsense as “IF I have sinned, Lord, please forgive me?” But of course you have SINNED!. confess them with all of the precise memory you can muster. Of course, it is true that we often sin so wantonly and profusely that we may honestly forget the magnitude and number of our sins. The Men of Judea wonder how they have deserted their wives? All of the acts of infidelity of the men of Judah have not gone unnoticed by the All-Seeing Eye of the Lord. “ Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth.” These men may have wondered how the Lord was witness to their sins? His eye knows not barrier. He looks into every heart – righteous or no – and the sinner stands naked before Him without excuse. The dark shadows did not conceal the adulterous conduct of these men. God does not look upon our daylight countenance, but under our midnight covers. . . . . for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (1 Sam 16:7) Just because of the unfaithfulness of man’s heart in abandoning his true wife does not mean that the Lord accepts the division of abandonment and divorce. ” . . . yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.” How many men of our day have taken vows of fidelity before God and man to remain faithful to their brides only to renounce their vows by foolish actions later?
In our day of profligate sin and egregious immorality. we have denied the very first Commandment of God given in the Garden Eastward at Eden. What was that Commandment? “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Gen 1:27-28) Male & Female are created after the Image of God – and that image is ONE! 15 “And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.”
The full image of God given here is of MALE and FEMALE – not male & male, or female & female. Moreover, this one flesh which God created of male and female are able to procreate and replenish the earth. That is the Commandment, isn’t it – to be fruitful and multiply – and replenish the earth? Do you see how the modern view of homosexuality defies the very creative law of God? The Creation Model of God has been demeaned and brought down to the carnal pursuits of wicked men. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (Romans 1:22-25) The marriage covenant is not to be broken. The solemn vow,. taken before God and witnesses, is a serious and permanent vow. Because it is a union conceived by God, it must stand inviolate: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (Gen 2:24)
16 “For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.” This is a profoundly serious warning. Shall we take up that which the Lord HATES? Treason against family, friends, and the Lord are all alike very serious offenses. It endangers ones spirit as this verse clearly describes. God hates the putting away of one’s wife, and He hates the Bride of Christ (the Church) putting away her Betrothed Husband. That is EXACTLY what the modern church has done. “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.” (Isaiah 4:1) The Seven Churches have desired to be called by the name of Christ for their respectability, but they refuse His Bread of Heaven, and His White Robe of Righteousness – they prefer to wear their own tattered rags of apparel and buy their own poisoned bread.
17 “Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?” Does God delight in our churches that are filled with every abominable doctrine. Does He delight to see our young ladies appear in demure apparel and our men tattooed head-to-foot? Does He delight to see men, lusting after men, in the Holy place? Does He delight to see the word of man being elevated above that of the Holy One of Israel? Does God hunger after evil doers? Not at all! Why do we teach our youth that every sin is acceptable to God as long as you LOVE Him? It is a lie. We cannot love God and sin at the same time. “Where is the God of Judgment?” Look at the clock my friend. It is the midnight hour. He stands at the very door. Our time of decision is waning, moment by moment. Once the spark of life is extinguished, we will go before the Lord either bearing our sins, or our crosses. Which shall it be for you, Reader?
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. AMEN.